Karl Rove would not deny that he had a role in the prosecution of Governor Don Siegelman when asked to do so on ABC's This Week, by George Stephanopoulous. It has become quite obvious why he will not testify before congress. When Stephanopoulous noted that Rove was not offering up a firm denial of any involvement with the Justice Department, Rove asserted, "I heard about it, read about it, learned about it for the first time by reading about it in the newspaper." But no denial of participation.
From ABC News:
STEPHANOPOULOUS: We're just about out of time. As we know and our viewers probably know you were subpoenaed this week by the house Judiciary Committee to give testimony on any involvement you may have had with the prosecution of the former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. He's claiming there was selective prosecution. He's out on bail now even though he was convicted. He said your fingerprints are all over it. The House report said -- "in Selma 2007 a Republican attorney for northern Alabama named Jill Simpson wrote an affidavit stating that in November 2002 she heard a prominent Alabama Republican operative named Bill Canary say that Karl Rove had contacted the Justice Department about bringing a prosecution of Don Siegelman. The question for Mr. Rove is whether he directly or indirectly discussed the possibility of prosecuting Don Siegelman with either the Justice Department or Alabama Republicans." did you?
ROVE: Let me say three things, first of all, I think it's interesting -- everybody who was supposedly on that telephone call that miss simpson talks about says the call never took place. I'd say --
STEPHANOPOULOUS: Although she produced a cell phone record according to the committee.
ROVE: Well, I would say three things. First of all, I have -- I learned about Don Siegelman's prosecution by reading about it in the newspaper. Second of all, this is really about a Constitutional question of the separation of powers. Congress, the house judiciary committee wants to be able to call presidential aides on its whim up to testify, violating the separation of powers, executive privilege has been asserted by the White House. In a similar instance in the senate. It will probably be asserted quickly in the House. Third, the White House and -- has agreed, I'm not -- I'm not asserting any personal privilege. The White House has offered, and my lawyers offered several different ways in which if the House wants to find out information about this they can find out information about this. And they've refused to avail themselves of those opportunities. We didn't say, close off any option to do anything else you want to do in the future. We said if you want to hear about this let's sit down and talk about this and then you're entitled to do what you want to do in the future. This is now tied up in court. It's going to be tied up in court and settled in court. And frankly the house last week doing this is, you know, duplicating what the Senate has done.
STEPHANOPOULOUS: But to be clear you did not contact the Justice Department about this case?
ROVE: I read about -- I'm going to simply say what i've said before, which is I found out about Don Siegelman's investigation and indictment by reading it in the newspaper.
STEPHANOPOULOUS: But that's not a denial.
ROVE: I've -- you know, I read -- I heard about it, read about it, learned about it for the first time by reading about it in the newspaper.
STEPHANOPOULOUS: Mr. Rove, thanks very much.
Now this really angers me. Karl Rove has no immunity from testifying. This is not about national security nor did Rove, per his own statements on various news shows involve the president in this, so exactly why can he claim executive privilege? Perhaps the real reason Rove won't testify is that he would actually implicate the White House/Bush!
As per John Conyers:
"Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate. Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters."
It's time Conyers invoked the "INHERENT CONTEMPT" rule. I hope Conyers finds the courage to use all the authority available to him instead of the weak threats he has used so far. Unless Conyers and the Democrats are ready to back up this subpoena by invoking Inherent Contempt and sending the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House to arrest Rove, the subpoena is not worth the paper it's written on. This is the only way that any House or Senate subpoena will be enforceable given that the Justice Department has now become an arm of the Bush Administration, illegally in and of itself, I might add.... It could certainly provoke an interesting confrontation that the nation would cheer!